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Bone grafts can be used for multiple purposes. A primary purpose is to build up the jawbone to help accommodate a dental implant. As teeth deteriorate, they could fall out of the gums or they might need to be pulled. Our dentists will look at the current state of the bone in the jaw before doing any kind of implant, and after looking at the amount of bone and the condition of the bone, the dentist may determine that a bone graft is the best option in creating more support. There are different kinds of bone grafts that can be used during the procedure.
The process for the graft is rather simple. The patient is often sedated so that there is minimal pain involved and the patient can fully relax comfortably. An incision is made on the gum where the bone will be grafted. This incision is large enough so that the bone can be introduced with ease, but it’s not large enough for there to be interference with the implants. When the dentist sees the bone in the jaw, the graft is put in place. A protective material is placed on top of the bone to keep it in place and to encourage healing. This will also aid in keeping out any bacteria that might develop an infection. When the graft is complete, the gum is sutured so that the healing process can begin.
One of the common types of grafts is autogenous. This is when an area of bone from the patient’s body is used instead of bone from a donor or bone that is from an animal. This is the safest way to perform the grafting as there is less of a chance for the body to reject the bone. Another option is to use bone from a donor, usually from a cadaver. These grafts are called allografts. If these options are not available, then a xenograft could be used. This is bone from an animal, such as a cow or a pig.
There are a few procedures aside from implants where bone grafts are used. Dentists will use grafts in order to expand the bone in the jaw or prevent bone loss that might occur as teeth begin to fall out. To see if bone grafts are the right option for you in your dental journey, schedule a consultation or appointment today.